Castanio leads #Seawolves past Maine, into America East Final
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Redshirt junior keeper Ashley Castanio (Oceanside, N.Y.) made 16 saves and blocked two shootout attempts to help the Stony Brook women's soccer team knock off No. 3 Maine in the America East Semifinals on Sunday at LaValle Stadium. After a 1-1 draw, the Seawolves prevailed in the penalty shootout, 3-1, to advance to their second consecutive America East championship game.
"First of all, I can't say enough how much respect I have for Maine. They have great coaching, great team organization, and they were a wonderful, competitive opponent for us. There's a saying in soccer that if the other team can't score, you can't lose, so having Ashley Castanio in net for us was really the difference. She's a big-time player and she made some big-time plays in some big-time moments. We're excited to face UMBC in the final and I expect it to be a very competitive game."
• Stony Brook (11-5-2) opened the scoring in the 30th minute when freshman Leah Yurko (Cumberland, Md.) pounced on a rebound in the box and stuffed it into the open cage to give the Seawolves the lead. • Maine (9-5-5) equalized with just 11:58 to play in the second half when Lisa Bijman directed a header over Castanio off a free kick from Joanie L'Abbe.
Penalty Shootout Summary
• After two scoreless overtime periods, the game proceeded to the penalty shootout. Sophomore Stella Norman (Lakewood, Colo.) shot first, but her attempt was stopped by Maine keeper Claudia Dube-Trempe. • With the momentum on its side, Maine was unable to capitalize as Castanio robbed Charlene Achille with an unbelievable diving stop to her right. • Freshman Maxie New (Clayton, N.J.) then stepped up and drilled the first goal of the shootout to put the Seawolves up, 1-0. • Maine answered right back as Noelle Leon-Palmer guided her attempt inside the left post to knot the shootout at 1-1. • The Seawolves responded when senior Caitlin Pfeiffer (Holland, N.Y.) fooled Dube-Trempe to put Stony Brook ahead, 2-1. • Castanio then stopped Maggie Malone's attempt with a dive to her right to keep the score at 2-1. • Senior Larissa Nysch (Dresher, Pa.) was next up and she made no mistake, firing it home to make it 3-1. • Needing to score to stay alive, Maine's Joanie L'Abbe hit the right post with the ensuing attempt to end the shootout in favor of Stony Brook, 3-1.
The Numbers Game
• The America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Castanio made a career-high 16 saves, including several highlight-reel stops, to backstop Stony Brook to victory. • Maine held a 25-22 shot advantage overall. • Dube-Trempe stopped 11 shots for the Black Bears. • Maine held an 8-4 edge in corner kicks. • Nysch and Bijman each had five shot attempts to lead their teams on the day.
News & Notes
• Stony Brook will be making its second consecutive trip in the America East Final. Last year the Seawolves beat No. 1 Hartford; this year they will look to knock off another No. 1 in UMBC. • Stony Brook beat Maine in the Semifinals for the second straight season. • The Seawolves have prevailed in their last four America East Tournament matches. • Stony Brook is now 2-0 all-time in penalty shootouts in the America East. The Seawolves defeated UNH, 3-0, on penalties in the 2002 America East Semifinals. • Castanio has 29 saves in her last two games, both against Maine. • The game counts as a 1-1 draw for statistical purposes, with Stony Brook advancing, 3-1, on PK's.
The 2012 America East champions will look to defend their title on Saturday, Nov. 9 against No. 1 UMBC. The championship game is set for 7 p.m.